Ramadan 2022: Benefits of fasting
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the main pillars of Islam. It not only cleanses the body of harmful toxins, it also helps Muslims achieve self-reflection, self-improvement, kindness and spirituality.
Fasting during Ramadan involves not eating or drinking anything from sunrise to sunset for a month and breaking the fast in evening as part of Iftar ritual.
Health studies shows fasting increases the blood’s red and white blood cells as well as good cholesterol. It also decreases the body’s inflammation and the blood’s bad blood cholesterol and triglycerides.
"When you fast regularly for longer durations, it leads to a metabolic switch and an improved fat loss and maintenance. Month long fasting is the best you can detoxify your body, with research also showing reduced inflammatory markers after a period of intermittent fasting," Dietitian Garima Goyal told the Hindustan Times.
During Ramadan fasting, there is a major shift from normal eating patterns to eating exclusively at night. This kind of intermittent fasting for more than 12 to 16 hours without food and water is a state where the liver’s glycogen is depleted and replenished, says Dr Meghana Pasi, a nutrition consultant told the Hindustan Times,.
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can be as effective for weight loss and fat loss as a continued calorie restricted diet.
"Restricting food intake during the day can help prevent chronic ailments like high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, as well as improve mental health and wellbeing," says Dr Pasi.
"Fasting allows the gut to cleanse and strengthen its lining. A self-cleansing process called autophagy gets stimulated where cells remove the damaged and dangerous particles. Intermittent fasting also increases metabolic rate, lowers blood sugar levels and boost immune system. It has shown to protect brain cells and reduce depression and anxiety," adds Dr Pasi.